Finding a great island spa can be a tricky business, with descriptions like "laid-back" actually translating to "remote location" and "untrained staff." At Tresses, the efficient stylists, aestheticians, and masseurs dole out high-quality treatments, letting guests keep their vacations free of any "I'm paying how much for this?!" vexation. Top picks include the detoxifying body wraps—all named for Nantucket beaches—and the post-surfing sports massage. It's not superfancy, but it's exactly what a resort-town retreat should be: therapeutic and relaxing. 117 Pleasant St., Nantucket, MA 2554, nantucketspa.com.
It's too bad this full-service salon doesn't include a hotel, because after a 50-minute pedicure, the last thing you'll want to do is pull on a pair of heels and go home. Feet are pampered, soaked, massaged, buffed, and polished, all while you relax in a cushy massage chair. The friendly, professional staff is relentless with rough patches and doesn't stop sanding until your feet are smoothed to a buttery, baby softness. 338 Newbury St., Boston, MA g2ospasalon.com/.
A caged kennel for Fifi? Quelle horreur! Now there's a doggie bed and breakfast where she can lounge like she's in her own living room. Common Dog, which opened last year, boards dogs overnight in a home-style setting, right down to sleeping on worn sofas and romping in a gravel backyard with wading pools. It also doubles as doggie day-care service, picking up canine campers in a small white bus so they can play while their owners are out earning their kibble. 22 Park Terrace, Everett, MA .
Anyone who's ever tried to cram a hissing cat or a yelping dog into a pet carrier knows that a trip to the vet is the worst day of your furry friend's year. So spare everyone the ordeal and ring up Vetcall's Jake Tedaldi, a Harvard- and Tufts-trained DVM who'll examine Fluffy in your home and take care of vaccines on the spot. 304 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA 2115, vetcall.com.
After suffering through trainers who merely barked advice (our ears are still ringing), we were overjoyed to discover owner Vera Wilkinson's quiet expertise. Certified both as a dog-behavior consultant and professional dog trainer—and armed with more than a decade of experienc—Wilkinson begins by watching you interact with Fido at home. Only then does she offer suggestions. She takes her time, and you and your dog will end up the better for it. 1786 Beacon St., Brookline, MA 2445, cooperativedog.com.
Short but not scary, his flattering haircuts make you feel like Winona Ryder or Isabella Rossellini (depending on your age and role model). Billy excels at developing long-term growth strategies for hair that looks like an outtake from the disaster movie of your life. He's also the manager of this youthful-but-not-too-trendy salon, set in a Commonwealth Avenue townhouse. John Dellaria Salon, 623 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA .
Metropolitan's underground decor includes exposed stone walls, purple neon lights, big plants, and great shower curtains in the women's locker rooms. The mainly gay clientele is in better shape than most people ever hope to be. Barney Frank lost his flab and got pumped up at Metropolitan. Are you cool enough to belong? 209 Columbus Ave., Boston, MA .
You know what they say about cleanliness and godliness. Which must be why visits from Crystal Clean always leave your home so divine. A four-person team buffs and shines down to the hard-to-reach spots and tops it all off with finishing touches—dusted reading glasses, triangle-folded toilet paper—that other services often skip. Boston, MA 2116, crystalcleanboston.com.
This beautiful space—with its soaring vaulted ceilings, off-kilter, oversize chandeliers, rattan seats, and sandstone walls—is the place to be seen these days. The big, comfy seating areas in the front are the perfect place to hang out with a few friends while you wait for a table; the bar is wall-to-wall action and buzz; and the dining room is open and spacious without swallowing you whole. 221 Columbus Ave., Boston, MA .
You know the contenders as well as we do, and the good-natured competition they generate is making area ice cream better by the minute. Case in point: Christina's, which is holding its own against such long-loved local big boys as Herrell's and Toscanini's with flavors including carrot cake, avocado, and khulfi (cardamom and pistachio). But originality alone doesn't cut it: The textures here are addictive, and the toppings are fresh. Go ahead, make a meal out of it—you might be able to cover all the food groups. 1255 Cambridge St., Cambridge, MA christinasicecream.com/.
Your quest for the Holy Grail of chocolate can end right here. Topnotch and velvety white, dark, and milk chocolates are flown in from Switzerland every week to literally and happily melt in your mouth. The shop's crème de la crème? White chocolate-covered apricot and orange slices, cocoa-filled truffles, and the signature champagne truffles (at a hefty $27 for a box of 16). Admittedly, the staff can be icy, but, then, so can Switzerland. No matter. The exemplary chocolate stash will leave you without a hint of bitterness. 230 Newbury St., Boston, MA teuscher.com/.
Open 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. Now here's a concept: buttery but not greasy breakfast. SoundBites may be a little out of the way for your day's start, but the restaurant gives up as delicious and fresh an omelet as you're likely to find. The mashed home fries, Wonder Waffles, and serve yourself coffee are so good that they take the guilt out of loading all your calories and caffeine into the morning hours. 708 Broadway, Somerville, MA .
The whole point of brunch is that it's an excuse for indulgence. So why not inject a dash of naughtiness and have it on a weekday? We're talking about industry brunch on Mondays at Starlite, where calling in sick is rewarded with a pile of biscuits and gravy, or the brunch burger (crowned with a fried egg). The crowd, mostly restaurant types shaking off the prior night's last call, won't bat an eye at your request for a second butter-maple bourbon with a chocolate-covered bacon slice. 3 Beacon St., Somerville, MA 2143, trinastarlitelounge.com.
It's not exactly off the beaten path, but don't hold that against this Newbury Street establishment. The menu packs in polished regional specialties like lentil-based dal makhani, as well as favorites like the ubiquitous butter chicken. The only downside to a meal on the patio is the view of the shopping crowds, but Kashmir's mellow atmospher—and the hearty potato-stuffed naan—are worth elbowing aside a few tourists. 279 Newbury St., Boston, MA 2116, kashmirrestaurant.com.